Geo.admin.ch, the geoportal of the Swiss Confederation has again achieved a significant award as an eGovernment program. The map viewer map.geo.admin.ch is ranked 1st in the category «Swiss ICT Public Award» at the Swiss ICT Awards. Those awards have been issued by the swissICT, the most important representative of the ICT-workplace Siwtzerland and at the same time the biggest professional association of the industry.
As glaciers increasingly melt in the wake of climate change, it is not only the landscape that is affected. Thawing glaciers also release many industrial pollutants stored in the ice into the environment. Now, within the scope of a Swiss National Science Foundation project, researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, ETH Zurich and the University of Berne have measured the concentrations of a class of these pollutants – polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) – in the ice of an Alpine glacier accurately for the first time. The measurements reveal that the PCB levels in the atmosphere have decreased since the 1970s thanks to the meanwhile global ban on PCBs. Through the progressive melting of the glaciers, however, this residual waste risks being released back into the atmosphere.
Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly prepared experiments and results that don’t carry any clout. Instead of merely leveling criticism, however, Empa is also developing new standards for such experiments within an international network.
Accessing maps in areas without network coverage is now possible with the map viewer of the federal geoportal, map.geo.admin.ch. A new function allows the download and local storage of a predefined map extent for offline usage. This new feature will meet the needs of individual users and provide opportunities to extend application possibilities.